Friday nights in San Antonio can be a mixed bag when you are the Oklahoma City Barons. On this particular night, as we have seen quite a bit lately, the Barons were suffocated by the Rampage puck possession game. This led to a high number of scoring chances for the bad guys, and a goaltender left to fend for himself for the good guys. Although the Barons scored the games first goal, the Rampage would roar back with a pair of their own. A late third period equalizer by Linus Omark forced the game into a shoot out where five straight Barons couldn’t get a goal around Jacob Markstrom. The Rampage would defeat the Barons 3-2 in a shoot out.
Jason LaBarbera earned his second straight start for OKC with familiar foe, Jacob Markstrom, lacing them up at the other end. Both tenders were good, but it was JLB that would face another 40+ shots (43 of 45), let in very little, yet still be slapped with a loss. This is as much of a seismic issue of overall defense than just a goaltender letting in a few goals. The defensive core for OKC continues to be unable to achieve quick, sustainable puck movement from defense to offense. When they do move the puck up the ice, the forwards are unable to hang on to it for long periods of time. This is a continuing problem.
Nonetheless, the Barons accomplished some things including earning at least a standing point. A scoreless first period was kicked off by a Roman Horak penalty just sixteen seconds in, and would feature a Curtis Hamilton fight about nine minutes later. Just when it appeared that another scoreless period was upon us, Anton Lander would score on the power play at the thirteen and then some minute of the second. OKC would protect the 1-0 lead until the Rampage managed two goals in under three minutes as the midsection of the final period quickly approached. With radio announces in full and hopeful post game mode, Linus Omark would cut diagonally in front of Markstrom where Andrew Miller handed him a pass. Linus would quickly unleash a shot, score a goal, and put the game into overtime.
The Barons finally pressured the puck consistently, maybe for the first time in the game, during the OT frame, but they’d continuously be denied. We’d head to a shoot out.
No goals in five tries for OKC. One goal in as many for the Rampage. Despite a valiant effort from LaBarbera, the Barons would lose to the Rampage, 3-2.
Same two tomorrow night, but in Oklahoma City. Join us!